new home construction site
Source: Pixabay
  • There was a 2.4% decline in the total number of new dwellings approved in April
  • Detached new homes, however, saw a small increase
  • A range of factors caused this decline, noted Denita Wawn of the Master Builders Association

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has found that the number of new homes approved for building nationally declined during April 2022.

The data showed there was a 2.4% decline in the total number of new dwellings receiving building approvals. The volume is down by 32.4% compared to the same time last year.

Private sector homes saw a 0.5% rise although private sector dwellings excluding houses – such as apartments, villas and units –  fell by 6.1%.

In terms of the value of non-residential buildings approved, this declined by 30%.

Denita Wawn, CEO of Master Builders Australia (MBA) said a number of factors were responsible for the sharp decline in approvals over the past year.

“These include the phasing out of the HomeBuilder scheme as well as the emergence of challenges in the business environment,” said Ms Wawn.

“The cost of building materials is growing at its fastest rate in over 40 years while delays and shortages with respect to both labour and products continue to obstruct building activity.”

Denita Hawn, MBA

Ms Wawn did add that despite the figures, demand for new detached housing is still holding up.

“The level of activity is still a bit higher than it was immediately before the start of the pandemic,” she said.

“In contrast, approvals for medium and high-density homes are much lower than their pre-pandemic levels. April saw a 6.1 per cent drop in approvals in this category.

“We do expect demand for higher density homes to recover once inward migration to Australia moves closer to where it was before the pandemic.

“For our industry, the most immediate challenge relates to the supply of building products and the people we need to carry out the work. We look to working with the new Federal Government to assist with finding and delivering solutions.”

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